Pagan Federation International Pagan Federation International Forum Index Wiccan Rede Magazine

Member administration guide
Forum staff and members
Forum staff Forum members
Forum accounts
Forum account access Forum account types Forum account sections
Region user groups
Regions overview Region how-to checklist National coordinators Default region group (orphans)
Member administration overview
Data Protection Act Member administration overview Group information panel Pending members panel Main members panel
Member account administrative fields
Member account administrative fields Membership number Member board language Membership begin and end Magazine begin and end Last payment Notes
Manage members
Manage members Creating new member accounts Joining the PFI Logging in without username or password Merging accounts Sorting and selecting
Mass mailing
Mass mailing Archiving mass emails
Membership paper administration Membership log book
Working with Excel sheets
CSV File format Downloading member lists Uploading member lists

Forum staff and members
Forum staff
The forum staff are people who have special privileges and special tasks to do on the forum.
They usually will have one or more private sections on the forum to discuss daily business.

Please note that:
  • Administrators are concerned with Accounts
  • Moderators are concerned with Messages.

The forum staff consists of:
  • Forum administrator(s)
    The forum administrator has access to the Admin panel, they can do everything, such as designing the forum, making subforums, deleting users, locking the whole forum, etc. For a good overview of this function, please see the phpBB forum documentation. The forum administrator can appoint extra administrators if necessary.

  • Member administrator(s)
    Member administrators are appointed by the forum administrator.
    They are people who belong to a special user group, called Member administration. They have edit-access to all accounts on the forum and can help out with administrative problems.
    Together with the forum admin these people form a team.

  • User group supervisor(s)
    Each user group may have a supervisor, appointed by the forum administrator.
    They have view-only access to the memberlist of that group and view-only access to the member accounts from that group, and they can mass-email that group. They are there to supervise the group administrator.

  • User group administrator(s)
    Each user group has an administrator, appointed by the forum administrator.
    They have edit-access to the memberlist of that group and can mass-email their group.
    If the group is a region, then they also have edit-access to certain parts of the member accounts.
    All user group supervisors and administrators may have a communal special forum to discuss current business.
    There may also be a communal special forum for region group supervisors and administrators.
    There usually is a special interest forum for members of a user group.

  • Forum moderator(s)
    Each forum on the board has a forum moderator, appointed by the forum administrator.
    If nobody is appointed, the forum administrator is moderator too.
    They have edit-access to all member messages on that forum.
    Forum moderators may have a communal special forum to discuss moderator business.
Forum members
Forum membership consists of:
  • Forum members
    These people form the community, they post messages etc. Forum members may be members of certain user groups and have privileges to access certain private forums etc. Forum members may also be moderators or staff members. All these privileges are set by the forum admin in the admin panel.

  • Administrative members
    Administrative members can always log in in order to edit their own account, but that is all they can do. As far as the forum is concerned, they are guests.

  • PFI members
    PFI membership is defined by having a membership number set on your account. Apart from this, a PFI member is either a forum member, or an administrative account, as specified above.

  • Guest
    These are all people who just come to the forum to read. The casual surfer, or the interested person.
    Please note that anyone from the forum who is not logged in, is in fact a guest.

Forum accounts
Forum account access
  • The Forum administrator and the Member administrators have full edit-access to all accounts. Except that only a Forum admin can edit another Forum admin's account.
  • The Region group supervisor has view-only-access, the Region group administrator has edit-access, to the membership administration parts 1 and 2 of their own group members only, and cannot see anything else of the account. Although the forum name and avatar of accounts of forum members are shown.
  • Other user group administrators and forum moderators have no access to other people's forum accounts at all. They can only see the small user information panel, just like regular forum members.
  • Forum members have full edit-access to their own account only, except for the membership administration part 2: there they have limited view-only access to just a few fields.
  • Guests have no access to user accounts or member lists at all.
Forum account types
Administrative account
They can log in to edit their own account, unless their account is deactivated. Other than that they are guests only. Their username may be of the format "AA nnnn" where AA stands for Administrative or Anonymous Account, and the nnnn stands for a number. Since these accounts are not forum members, they have no regular forum username.
They are defined by having a user level of ANONYMOUS.

Technically guests are not logged in but they have an "account", one account for all guests, so the rest of the software can see that a guest is asking for a page. A guest account is an administrative account.
They are defined by having a user level of ANONYMOUS, plus having a user ID of ANONYMOUS.

Forum member
They have full access to the forum. All forum staff such as moderators and administrators must be forum members.
They are defined by having a user level of USER, MOD or ADMIN.

Accounts are always either administrative, or forum accounts.
On top of that, they can also have other characteristics:

Banned member or troll
They cannot log in at all, and in some cases cannot even see the forum.
They are defined by being in the banlist table, or having the troll flag set in the user table.

Deactivated account
They cannot log in at all, but can follow the forum as guest.
They are defined by having the user_active flag re-set.

PFI member
Any account can be a PFI member.
They are defined by having a membership number.
Forum account sections
  • Forum registration information like forum name, email address etc.
  • Membership administration part 1: member details like real name, address etc.
  • Membership administration part 2: membership details like region, membership number etc.
  • Forum profile information, including birthday, signature, personal title etc.
  • Forum preferences information, including chosen board language, board theme, notifications etc.
  • Forum avatar information, including avatar image etc.

Region user groups
Regions overview
Regions are the central concept of the member administration.

Region user groups are user groups.
Users become part of a region either because a region administrator adds them manually to their own group, or because the region field in their user profile is changed to another region. The software will then add them to the new group.
If a user is no longer part of a region, because they have moved to another region or have ended their membership, they can be removed from a region.

Each account with a membership number must be assigned to one or more region user groups. If the account is not assigned, it will be assigned to the region user group that is defined as the default region user group. This is to make sure that all accounts with a membership number will always show up somewhere in a region user group.

The region user group administrator is responsible for the membership administration. under supervision of the region user group supervisor. Often, this duty is carried out by the National coordinator under supervision of the International coordinator.

Region user groups also may have one or more special forums that they can access. Often, the National coordinator is the forum moderator for such forums.
Region how-to checklist
Here is a complete checklist for the forum administrator, to use when a new region is created, or when a new region user group administrator is installed, a new National coordinator is installed or a new Forum moderator is installed and so on. Use it to double check that everything is done properly. Most of this is done via the Admin panel

PFI domain and web site checklist
Ranks checklist
  • Make the correct ranks
  • Make or edit the new officer account and set the correct rank
  • Edit the old officer account and delete the old rank

Region user group checklist
Subforum checklist
Moderator checklist
National coordinator checklist
Announcement checklist
National coordinators
National coordinators perform three duties at once, unless they themselves appoint other people to do some of the work for them:
  • They are members of the National Coordinators user group and the National Coordinators forum. This forum is used to discuss PFI business and policy.

  • The are region user group administrator for their own region.
    This means that they do the full membership administration for their members.

  • They are forum moderator for their own region user group special forum.
    This means that they are actively involved in watching over the forum content.
Default region group (orphans)
The default region group (PFI Orphans) is there so that members who are removed from other region groups, eventually end up in this region group, so that all members always have a region group and are visible to at least one administrator.

The default region group collects "orphan" records with which there is something wrong. They may be expired and removed from other regions, or they may have been imported or created without any region being given.

It is the task of the administrator of this group to check this group on a weekly basis and take action on any member record that is present there. The ideal state is that this group is empty. Members in this group should either re-join and pay their fee and join a proper region group, or they should have their membership number removed (only the forum admin can do that) and cease to be members.

Member administration overview
Data Protection Act
The Data Protection Act requires that you will keep all data in this database confidential under all circumstances. You may NOT give out any data to anyone else. This includes handing out email addresses, names, addresses or phone numbers and so on.

As an administrator of this forum, you are assumed to obey the law.
Member administration overview
The complete member administration works from one central page, and that is the user group page for your PFI region.
You will find all groups here. Select the region user group you administrate.

Region user group page
On your group page you will find a number of areas:
  • The group information panel
  • The pending members panel (if there are any pending members)
  • The main member list, plus buttons for various functions
  • The sorting and selecting panel
Group information panel
In the group information panel you will find information about the group, the description, who is the administrator, who is the supervisor etc.
It also lists the group type:

Open groups
These groups are visible to non-members. Members can request to join the group by pressing a button. They then become a pending member. The group administrator will receive an email, and can go to the group to allow or deny this member to join the group.
PFI Region groups should be open groups. If the person who wants to join is not yet a PFI member, the email will say so, and you can send them an application form.

Closed groups
Closed groups are still visible to non-members, but there is no button to join such a group. People may write an email to the group administrator, or group membership may be by invitation only. Closed groups are suitable for special projects.

Hidden groups
Hidden groups are invisible to anyone except the members themselves. Hidden groups are suitable for moderator groups, initiates groups etc.

Memberlist visible?
Whether the memberlist of open and closed groups is visible to non-members, is set by the forum administrator. PFI Region groups' memberlists should NOT be visible to non-members.

Group forums
Note that it is normal for user groups to have access to special member-only forums to discuss private business. PFI Region groups for example have access to all private PFI Region member-only subforums on the forum.
Pending members panel
The pending members panel gives some information about the members. Via the member name you can inspect the member account page and possibly update it.

Approving or denying membership
With the checkmarks and buttons you can approve or deny membership to the pending members. They will receive an email of your decision. When there are no pending members, the whole panel will be absent from the screen.

When to approve membership
Pending members (to PFI region groups) should only be approved if they are currently members of the PFI, if they have completed the application form and paid their fees. Until that process is complete, they should remain pending members!
Main members panel
The main members panel is similar to the normal forum memberlist. For PFI regions there are a few minor differences, such as standard showing of the member expiration date (in red when the membership is expired).

Adding members
The group administrator can add members, that is, existing forum accounts, to their group, using the text field and buttons provided. For PFI Regions, this should only be done for people who are already PFI members. They become group members immediately, not pending members!

Editing member accounts
Via the member name you can go to the member account (or member profile) and you can edit the administrative fields of that member account. For example payment details, membership details, email, address and so on. Note that this edit option is only available to administrators of PFI Region groups.

Viewing member accounts
The group supervisor has view-only access to the member accounts of PFI Region groups.

Removing members
With the checkmarks and the button you can remove selected members from your region group. For example when members move to another country, or when they decide to leave the PFI. If members are not part of another PFI region group, they will be assigned to the PFI Orphans group.

New account
With this button you can create a new account for someone who has joined the PFI and completed the application form and paid their fees, but who has no forum account yet. In the account itself you can set the PFI Regions that the member is going to belong to.

With the mail button you can mass-email your current selection of members - even down to checkmarking just a few records, or your whole user group. Please note that people can opt out of mass email!

You can download the current selection, or your whole group, as a CSV (comma separated) file. Such a file can be opened by Excel. These files are meant for backup purposes, for quick reference or for cross-checking. They will show one record per line, but only the necessary administrative fields. They will help you to check for mistakes and give a better overview than the individual account pages can.

Technically it is possible to upload a CSV (comma separated) file as well. At the moment, only the forum admin can do this. But if you have say more than 10 records that need updating in one go, ask the forum admin if you can provide your downloaded and edited CSV file for uploading and importing. If it is fewer than 10 records, you should do it manually, it will give you far better control over what you enter, it will double check your entries and it will generate logbook entries and emails where necessary.

Member account administrative fields
Member account administrative fields
This section discusses the administrative fields of the member account.
These fields can be viewed by the member and the PFI Region supervisor, and they can be edited by the PFI Region administrator.
Some of the fields have special restrictions and are discussed below.
Membership number
The next free membership number is always shown in the text on the left, whether you need it or not. You can click on the number to insert it into the membership number field. Please note that this membership number will be checked again to verify it is still free, when you save the data, so you cannot be certain that this number is the definite membership number. On the confirmation email, or if you re-open the member profile after saving it, you will find the definite membership number.

You can choose another number, for example if you are creating a record for an existing member, you would fill in the existing membership number. And in some case you don't need a number: for example if all membership fields are empty.

The membership number controls if the user can see the block of membership data in their profile: if there is no membership number, the whole block is hidden, otherwise some fields are view-only.

Once assigned, the membership number cannot be changed any longer (except by the forum admin).
Member board language
The board language of the member will initially be set to the same language as the board language of the administrator who is creating the record. The board language is the language used in emails that the member will receive from the board, for example a reminder that their membership is ending soon.
Membership begin and end
Membership begin and end can be selected from list boxes.
The end date is one year after the start date, or at most 2 years, so for example 1 january 2006 to 1 january 2007.
The dates are fixed to the start of each quarter.
Magazine begin and end
You can select the first and last magazine to receive. Please remember that Beltane 2006 to Beltane 2007 is FIVE issues - so don't make that mistake! Both first and last magazine must be within the membership period, you will get a warning if you do it wrong. If someone doesn't want to receive the magazine, simply leave these fields blank.
Last payment
Fill in the amount in Euro's that was paid, and the date when it was paid. This is a double check, it helps to correct mistakes in the membership dates or magazine details later on, if necessary.

Fill in the date using European date format, days first, then months, then year. You can use other formats but they must be unambiguous, like '13 nov 05' or '2005-11-13'. But anything that looks like 2 numbers, 2 numbers, 4 numbers, with slashes or dashes, will be assumed to be European format (days-months-years). A last payment date that is way off from the start of the membership date, is suspicious.

There is a small check when saving the account, to make sure that the last paid amount reflects either with, or without, magazine.
The notes field is meant for essential notes only! The member himself cannot see this field, but other administrators can. So use this for information about the member that you think is vital for other officers to know.
Please remember that all important changes to fields are logged, so you do NOT need to use this field to remember the old address if someone changes their address, for example!

Manage members
Manage members
This section deals with a variety of questions members or admininstrators may have.
Creating new member accounts
Forum administrators, member administrators and region group administrators can create new member accounts, according to their privileges.

Either click a link, typically on the member list to create a new account, or go here.

When a new member account is created, you will receive an email with the details.
The member will only receive an email if you have set that option when you made the account.

All account holders, whether forum members or administrative members, can always log in, in order to view and edit their personal details.
Joining the PFI
If a forum member wants to join the PFI, they can do so by selecting the correct PFI Region user group they want to join from the groups panel and pressing the Join button.

The administrator for that PFI Region would receive an email that someone wants to join. If the member is not a PFI member, they would send them an application form and wait for all paperwork and fees to be completed. Until then, the member would remain a pending member, visible as such in the region group memberlist. Once payment is completed, the member would be approved by the PFI Region administrator.

If a non-forum member wants to join the PFI, the Region administrator would send them an application form and wait for all paperwork and fees to be completed. They would then create a new account for them and tick the right PFI Region checkbox, and the person would be a member from that moment onwards.
Logging in without username or password
All members, also those who have an administrative account, can always log in.
If they don't have a password or if they don't know their user name, follow the links to Login, Ask for new password, or go directly here.

They fill in their email address. Provided an account with that email address exists, they will receive a password at that email address, and can log in. If the email address is not unique, this does not work - they will have to contact an administrator and get their forum name if they don't know that.

They can now access the forum at their own level: administrative accounts can only edit their own name, address etc. and are guests on the forum; forum members can participate as usual.
Merging accounts
Some members may have both a forum account, and an administrative account. This can happen if a member registers himself on the forum without realising they already have an administrative account.
The forum admin can merge these accounts using an option in the normal user profile page. Open the administrative account (other profile information will be lost) and then merge it into the forum account. (Merging two normal forum accounts is possible but the normal procedure is to close the most recent one).

During the merge, the current forum profile will be lost, and all posts, watches and private messages are carried over to the new account.

The administrative data for the current profile, including region group memberships, region group moderator and supervisor functions, can be added to the new profile, choosing overwrite, merge or discard.
Sorting and selecting
In the region group memberlist, and the main memberlist, administrators have far more fields to sort and select on than users. This is necessary to allow region group administrators to work with members' real names etc.

Selecting members
You can select members by specifying a field to select on, and criteria to select. For the criteria you can use wildcards, you can use operations such as > or <=. Remember that to find dates, you must use the European notation, and/or use English month names, to avoid confusion. More info and examples can be found in the normal FAQ file.

"Regular expressions" are a way to select text based on special rules. This is a complicated topic but those who can work with regular expressions can select members based on them too.
For example, in the list of letters, if you click on "Others", you will see REGEXP ^[^a-z] in the selection field. The REGEXP word defines the operation, and the ^[^a-z] defines all text that starts (that is the first ^, assert the start of the text) with a letter that is not between a-z (which is what [^a-z] means).

Field display
The fields you select and sort on, will usually both be displayed. The selected field will be in the first column, the sort field in the second. Unless those fields would already be on screen, in that case the columns revert to their defaults.
And finally, in Region groups, the third column that usually has the date when the user joined the forum, is standard replaced by the membership end date. Expired members will be shown in red.

Please note that normal users will see a normal user list only, with no private member information at all.

Mass mailing
Mass mailing
Mass mailing is available to anyone from the forum staff.

In the mass email screen you select the correct user groups and account settings. The preview-button will show you a complete list of every member that will be mailed.

Whether a person receives mass mail, can be set in their profile. Also people can un/subscribe by following links in a mass email. If people don't have a password yet, they can mail the sender of the mass email to unsubscribe.

From the member list or a user group member list administrators can also select members, and then mass mail that selection of members.

Instead of mass mail, you can also download an excel sheet with names and addresses, for snail mail purposes.
Archiving mass emails
The option to archive a mass email to a pre-defined folder on the site, will save a copy of the email to that folder.
This function replaces the old PFI announcement list. Archived emails are available on Pagan Plaza in the announcements page.

Membership paper administration
The membership profile contains a number of fields that are important for a region administrator. Whenever such a field changes, whether you change it, or the member does it or someone else, you as region administrator will receive an email with the exact changes that were made. If the region is changed, then all region administrators will receive a copy too.

Keep all these emails in a special folder. Combined, they give you a complete overview of exactly what happened to a member record, from the day it was created. Whenever you receive such an email, check it carefully to verify that you made the changes, and that the changes are correct!

The same information is available on-line in the member logbook, but the logbook doesn't warn you when changes happen. The emails are your warning system, as well as your "paper" documentation.
Membership log book
The membership log book will give you an overview over all the changes to a single member record.
Please note that only important fields that have to do with membership, are listed. If someone changes their avatar image, nobody will get a warning or be notified, and no record of that is kept.

Although the log book gives the same information as the warning emails you receive when a member record is changed, please use the emails to verify all changes, and rectify mistakes, or get in touch with the member. The emails are your warning system!

Working with Excel sheets
CSV File format
The files that can be exported and imported are CSV files, comma separated files, which Excel can easily read and make. But you can also make them in Word or even a text editor.

The fields are delimited with the ; (semi colon). If you need a semi colon inside the field, you must escape it by adding a backslash before it.

Records end with a new line. If you must have a new line within a field, such as an address field, you must enclose the whole field in double quotes. If you must have double quotes inside the field too, you must escape them by adding a backslash before it.
Downloading member lists
Administrators and supervisors of region user groups can download their member lists. It is possible to sort and select first, or even to select individual records (by checkmark) and download those. Such lists can be used for backup purposes, or for quick reference. Please note that these files contain mostly the member administration fields, and no normal forum preferences fields.
Uploading member lists
The forum administrator can also upload member lists, run a simulation to look for problems, and then import the data. If multiple member records must be updated quickly or a large number of new records must be imported, this is by far the quickest way.

Dangers of importing
The danger of importing hand-edited files is that you have made mistakes, and have not checked each record properly.
Region administrators typically can only import records into their own region - which means that after importing they can see them and edit them and correct possible mistakes themselves.

New record or update?
A record is assumed to be identical to another record if it has the same user id and user name. In that case the existing record will be overwritten. If it has either a user name or user id or both, without matching, the record will produce an error. New records may not have a user id nor a (forum) user name.
If the record needs a membership number, because some other fields are filled in, one will be generated.

Last change
The last time a record is changed (as far as the administrative fields is concerned) is noted. If you import a record that was changed between the time the record was downloaded, and the time you want to import it, the import operation will fail.

Affected fields
Although all fields can be altered via uploading if you know the field names, the option is meant to alter the administrative fields only, and the downloaded file contains only those fields. For new records, some important system fields will be set to their default.

The report will show which records were updated, which records were created, and which records were not processed due to problems.

Newsletters uploading
Web site upload information
Web site graphics resources

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